Indoor practice facility underway
The UC football program broke ground in December for the Bearcats indoor practice facility, an improvement coach Brian Kelly negotiated as part of his contract extension last year.
The domed, regulation-size field and adjacent 50-yard outdoor venue will be constructed at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Corry Boulevard, a location formerly occupied by UC maintenance facilities and a popular tailgating lot next to UC's Marge Schott Stadium.
The project, estimated to cost up to $10 million, will allow last season's Big East champions the opportunity to practice despite bad weather. The controlled climate inside the dome will also allow the team to ready themselves for the heat at southern playing sites, such as they faced in Miami during the Orange Bowl.
The facility, which will be shared by UC's lacrosse team, is expected to help with recruiting. Potential athletes will also be paying attention as the university considers renovations to the 35,000-seat Nippert Stadium, the smallest in the Big East. Changes may include larger concourses, better concessions, enhanced restrooms, more luxury boxes and as many as 10,000 more seats.
Board of Trustees transitions
Early this year, the UC Board of Trustees unanimously elected Buck Niehoff, JD '72, as board chairman, succeeding Jeff Wyler, Bus '65. Plus, Gov. Ted Strickland appointed nationally known class-action attorney Stan Chesley, A&S '58, JD '60, HonDoc '93, to the board for his second, non-consecutive term.
Chesley is the senior attorney for the Cincinnati firm of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley. He previously endowed the Stanley Chesley Professorship of Law at UC and served as a board member for the UC Foundation.
Chesley, Niehoff and Wyler currently hold chairman positions affiliated with the foundation's "Proudly Cincinnati" campaign.
$3.5 million given to UC
Sharon and James Weinel recently gave $2 million to UC to establish the Terence Fruth/Gemini Chair of Signage Design and Community Planning. In 2007, with no prior connection to UC, the couple gave $2 million to the College of Business to establish a chair of signage and visual marketing. Owners of Gemini Inc., the world's largest producer of dimensional letters for signs, the couple hopes to forge a partnership between the sign industry and academia.
In March, a separate grant of $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education gave UC's college of education the opportunity to launch a research-based program to improve teacher quality and science instruction in elementary grades where science has not been emphasized.